How Many Times?

How many times do you need to hear
that you are enough?
I will tell you that many times, plus one
thousand in case your soul
doesn’t hear me.

How many times do you need to hear
that you deserve peace?
I will tell you that many times, plus one
thousand in case your resistance
is difficult to shake loose.

How many times do you need to hear
that you can rest in this moment?
I will tell you that many times, plus one
thousand in case your mind
is consumed by questions.

How many times do you need to hear
that even on your worst days,
even in the hardest hours,
even when you stumble
and trip over the same
old familiar stones
you are worthy of forgiveness?
I will you that that many times, plus one
thousand more in case your heart
still feels afraid to receive grace.

How many times do you need to hear
that the inner guards can stand down,
that it is safe to open the gates
if only a crack, a gesture
of possibility?
I will you you that many times, plus one
thousand for every moment
you were afraid to show
your heart.

How many times do you need to hear
that the world need your voice
and your voice alone?
I will remind you,
I will listen as you whisper,
then speak, then roar your stories
like so much fire into the aching chasm
of the past and the hungry mouth
of the future
and the deep well of the present,
where they will rest like so many offerings.

Release them.
Release yourself.
And I will stay with you all day and night
as the turning continues,
as the inexorable wheel of time
rolls by us and carries us around again.